Susan G. Komen and the Meaning of “Pressure” (Updated)

abortion, Women's Issues

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You’ve probably heard that the Susan B. Komen Foundation has caved to pressure from right-wing organizations and de-funded Planned Parenthood. This will result in more breast cancer deaths, since it cuts millions of uninsured women off from any possibility of breast cancer screenings.

According to Sarah Kliff, the Komen Foundation says it is de-funding Planned Parenthood because it is under congressional investigation. Of course, the only reason it is under congressional investigation is that wingnuts in Congress are subjecting it to a witch hunt.

I think the Sarah B. Komen Foundation is about to learn the true meaning of the word “pressure.” My suspicions are that the bulk of its supporters are mostly feminist, and pro-choice, women. Not necessarily activists, but at least several degrees to the left of Phyllis Shlafly and Sarah Palin.

As Joan Walsh tweeted, “The Komen Foundation just destroyed its brand, and it’s going to be very, very sorry.”


I’m confident that Komen’s funding will be replaced, and also that Komen will be a pale pink shadow of its former self unless it reverses this stupid decision and fires the people responsible. Check out list after list after list of Komen’s corporate sponsors. Do you think New Balance, Ford and Georgia-Pacific signed on for a public fight over Planned Parenthood? When Yoplait put a pink lid on its yogurt, did they do it to make it easier to boycott their products? Because that’s what’s going to happen. Unlike most boycotts, it’s easy to figure out which products you shouldn’t buy: anything that displays a pink ribbon with the Komen name.

When Komen starts losing corporate sponsorship, it will re-think its decision. No more pink ribbons.

Update: I second Tbogg

We’ve done this before, but you can make a donation to Planned Parenthood and request a thank you card be sent to

Karen Handel
Senior VP of Fail
c/o Susan G. Komen Foundation
P.O. Box 650309
Dallas, TX 75265-0309

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  1. biggerbox  •  Feb 1, 2012 @12:12 pm

    Susan G., not Sarah B.

  2. c u n d gulag  •  Feb 1, 2012 @12:56 pm

    It appears that they got some Dominionist Christian woman-loon as VP.

    And, since Komen is going, here’s a possible alternative for those who want to contribute to preventing women’s breast cancer:

    From what I’ve been able to investigate, “Save the Ta-tas” doesn’t have any ties to Komen – but if you know better, please let me know.

  3. c u n d gulag  •  Feb 1, 2012 @1:59 pm

    I have been assured from someone I respect at another site that “Save the Ta-tas” is, indeed, its own entity (no pun intended in the last two syllables).

  4. joanr16  •  Feb 1, 2012 @2:02 pm

    Karen Handel is her name, former (resigned) Sec. of State in Jawja, and former unsuccessful candidate for GA governor. Anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-PP.

    So, Komen Foundation, WTF? Do you not read resumes? Do you have a board that secretly shares former Reichsmarshal Handel’s agenda? Just wait until all the pro-justice celebrity cancer survivors get word of this.

    But for now, I’d say its online petition time. Lately that’s been an excellent way to get the word out on travesties like this.

  5. Swami  •  Feb 1, 2012 @2:45 pm

    Sec. of State in Jawja

    Is that a province in Pakistan? I can’t seem to find it on my Hagstrom’s.

  6. maha  •  Feb 1, 2012 @3:07 pm


    I thought it was a character in Star Wars, but then I realized this is referring to a state associated with peaches, pecans and peanuts

  7. Don  •  Feb 1, 2012 @4:13 pm

    Just made a donation in Karen Handel’s honor. Thanks for making it simple to switch support from the Komen Foundation to Planned Parenthood.

  8. Mike G  •  Feb 1, 2012 @4:27 pm

    P.O. Box 650309
    Dallas, TX 75265-0309

    Dalls, go figure. When was the last time something good came out of that ugly-ass, baking hot, soul-sucking, corporatist right wing hellhole?

  9. LongHairedWeirdo  •  Feb 1, 2012 @6:39 pm

    I’m trying to find the right words for this.

    It’s like – I wish I was a history student, reading about the “crazy years” and was trying to argue – with great supporting evidence! – that this was a turning point.

    I hope, 50 years from now, someone will be researching and reading about how, once a woman’s health organization (Komen) was sucked in, people realized just how much danger there was to reproductive freedom (and I *do not* mean abortion rights)… when people realized just how *vile* and, worse, *petty*, the anti-choice folks were, and that this re-energized people who believed that women should be able to have get basic health screenings, and be able to have sex safely if they choose.

    I hope this doesn’t just stop with Komen. I hope this helps ruin anti-choicers. I hope it gets in deep enough that it becomes toxic to bad mouth Planned Parenthood for any reason.

  10. Lizzy L  •  Feb 1, 2012 @7:57 pm

    I just sent SGK Foundation an e-mail, letting them know they’ve lost my respect and my bucks. There’s a Planned Parenthood office near me: I’m going to drop in with a check and a box of chocolates, just to let the folks who work there know they’ve got some support.

  11. Tom b  •  Feb 1, 2012 @8:18 pm

    To hell with them. A women’s organization throwing women under the bus.

  12. buckyblue  •  Feb 1, 2012 @8:28 pm

    I”m not much for the boycotts but I”d be on for this one. Sure would be nice if we could get the entire country living in the same century at some point. From here, I’d even take the 20th, late 20th anyway.

  13. alto2  •  Feb 1, 2012 @10:42 pm

    “When Komen starts losing corporate sponsorship, it will re-think its decision.”

    Will it? I’d like to think so, and would have thought so had I not poked around a little and seen that the CEO and the senior VP are both right-wingers. I’m betting they were just looking for an excuse. Besides which, there was already some unpleasantness about how they use donor funds, so it sounds to me like it’s time to find another organization to support–which makes it very clear just how much SGK has co-opted and even branded breast cancer. These are people who sued other groups for using the words “for the cure” and have a virtual monopoly on the color pink. That’s corporate behavior, not charity behavior. SGK’s real role in cancer research and in society needs to be radically re-evaluated.

  14. Bill Bush  •  Feb 2, 2012 @2:08 am

    Sent $ to PP and a negative email to SGK via DKos. Will save a list of their corporate sponsors and communicate to them. This is ridiculous, but not too shocking. To quote their own line: “They’re taking away our freedoms!”

  15. c u n d gulag  •  Feb 2, 2012 @8:25 am

    Apparently, Komen has never been an angel.

    Here’s a run-down on ginandtacos:

  16. c u n d gulag  •  Feb 2, 2012 @9:17 am

    Komen may have cut-off its nose to spite itself.
    Check out this movie trailer:

    Also, read the 4 most recent posts as Tbogg:

    Yes, I know it’s FDL – but not EVERYONE there is an idjit.
    And he, most certainly, is not!

  17. joanr16  •  Feb 2, 2012 @9:58 am

    In the past 24 hrs I’ve learned a lot about the SGK Foundation, and none of it has been good. No more pink ribbons in my world; I’ll donate thru orgs without the right-wing politics, and avoid products with ties to SGK.

    Hugely disappointing.

  18. c u n d gulag  •  Feb 2, 2012 @10:05 am

    I think marketing, and profiting, off of women’s breast cancer is a new kind of low.

    Now, I regret the money I donated, because probably precious little of it went to actually help women, or for research, but went instead to assholes like this heartless Handel twit (yes – with an “i”).

  19. Robert  •  Feb 2, 2012 @10:37 am

    Just made a significant donation to PP on behalf on Ms. Handel. I wonder how much money she has just raised for PP.